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Producers Guild Awards Nominees: The Whale Sneaks In Over Female-Directed Films Such as The Woman King, Aftersun, and She Said

The Producers Guild of America has unveiled the nominees for the 2023 PGA Awards, and while Darren Aronofsky‘s The Whale managed to sneak in ahead of Gina Prince-Bythewood‘s The Woman King, the other nine feature nominees were fairly expected.

The Whale was one of three A24 movies nominated for the guild’s equivalent of a Best Picture prize, as Everything Everywhere All at Once and the animated feature Marcel the Shell With Shoes On were also recognized by the PGA.

Many pundits will tell you how the PGA is a great awards predictor, as seven of the last 10 PGA winners went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture, but the truth is that while it’s certainly an indicator, 30 percent isn’t exactly an insignificant margin of error. Being producers, the guild’s membership puts a premium on movies with commercial value, which is why Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and to a lesser extent, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, were nominated over (perhaps more deserving) movies such as Maria Schrader‘s She Said, Charlotte WellsAftersun, and Sarah Polley‘s Women Talking.

That’s not a hard and fast rule, of course. After all, Tár was nominated this year, while the little-seen CODA won last year. But there’s a reason The Woman King was in the lead of this story over the other three female-directed films I just mentioned — it actually made money.

The Woman King
Viola Davis in The Woman King/Sony Pictures

I’m just saying that the PGA’s nominees typically skew American, and in favor of studio movies as opposed to indie films, and when there’s a “tie,” so to speak, the tie almost always goes to the movie that made more money. And though The Whale hasn’t done nearly as well as The Woman King, it has performed quite well in limited release. And that’s the story here… not the fact that there weren’t any female-directed films nominated this year, because last year, Sian Heder‘s CODA won, so claims of sexism fall on deaf ears here.

Having said that, trust me when I say that the Academy’s Best Picture lineup won’t necessarily look like this, as I strongly suspect that All Quiet on the Western Front will be among the nominees when the dust settles, given AMPAS’ recent push for international members.

The 34th Annual Producers Guild Awards will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The full list of nominees can be found below:

Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures

  • Avatar: The Way of Water (20th Century Studios)
  • The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight Pictures)
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Marvel Studios)
  • Elvis (Warner Bros.)
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)
  • The Fabelmans (Universal Pictures)
  • Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Netflix)
  • Tár (Focus Features)
  • Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount Pictures)
  • The Whale (A24)

Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures

  • Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (Netflix)
  • Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (A24)
  • Minions: The Rise of Gru (Universal Pictures/Illumination)
  • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (DreamWorks Animation)
  • Turning Red (Pixar)

Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Drama

  • Andor (Disney+)
  • Better Call Saul (AMC)
  • Ozark (Netflix)
  • Severance (Apple TV+)
  • The White Lotus (HBO)

Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Comedy

  • Abbott Elementary (ABC)
  • Barry (HBO)
  • The Bear (FX)
  • Hacks (HBO Max)
  • Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)

David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Limited or Anthology Series Television

  • Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (Netflix)
  • The Dropout (Hulu)
  • Inventing Anna (Netflix)
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+)
  • Pam & Tommy (Hulu)

Award for Outstanding Producer of Televised or Streamed Motion Pictures

  • Fire Island (Hulu)
  • Hocus Pocus 2 (Disney+)
  • Pinocchio (Disney+)
  • Prey (Hulu)
  • Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (The Roku Channel)

Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television

  • 30 for 30 (ESPN)
  • 60 Minutes (CBS)
  • George Carlin’s American Dream (HBO)
  • Lucy and Desi (Amazon Prime Video)
  • Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy (CNN)

Award for Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment, Variety, Sketch, Standup & Talk Television

  • The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)
  • Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Award for Outstanding Producer of Game & Competition Television

  • The Amazing Race (CBS)
  • Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls (Amazon Prime Video)
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars (VH1)
  • Top Chef (Bravo)
  • The Voice (NBC)
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